Kind Gnomie Amir Hemani knows that we haven’t gotten our hands on a Samsung Galaxy S II at LockerGnome World Headquarters, so he asked if he could tell us about his experiences with it. Does this Android-driven gadget pull its weight in the world of modern mobile smart telephony? Here’s what he has to say about it:
I’ve spent about a week with the Samsung Galaxy S II, and much like its predecessor (the Galaxy S), I have been thrilled with its functions, features, and performance. With many other smart phones, I’ve developed a habit of pressing a button or opening an application and then looking away from the phone in anticipation of waiting for it to load. The Galaxy S II and its 1.2 GHz dual core ARM Cortex-A9 processor has snapped that habit in half like a wishbone. I’ve even seen it compare with the iPhone 4S when opening up Web pages, third party apps like Netflix, and built-in apps like the calendar, mail, and messages, and it either surpasses or at least ties with the iPhone 4S in terms of speed.
The Galaxy S II’s exceptional speed makes using the Samsung TouchWiz 4.0 user interface so enjoyable and refreshing, as if this combination was just meant to be. The S II also renders Web pages very well; in addition, navigating through and within pages is relatively painless. If you are a Gmail user, your Gmail and contacts sync seamlessly into the phone. The notification bar — something Apple has taken on in its latest iOS — is very clean and usable, with the ability to turn on Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and other connections with the touch of the screen.
Gaming is another smart phone “niche” that Samsung’s Galaxy S II handles very well. I’m not very big into gaming on my phone, but if I need to kill a few minutes here and there, the vast gaming capabilities are always ready to keep me entertained. Additionally, the Android Market has a bevy of good games and useful applications. The AMOLED display on the S II is quite magnificent; it almost compensates for the fact that it has a slightly lower PPI count than some of its competitors, including the iPhone 4S. Watching movies, playing games, reading text, and viewing pictures is very enjoyable with its high-contrast and very sharp screen. It boasts an eight megapixel camera with image stabilization and a handful of other bells and whistles. It also has the capability of shooting 1080p video at 30 fps, which looks very stunning upon playback.
Organizing your apps on the Samsung Galaxy S II is very intuitive, and adding homescreen widgets is a very nice feature that you come to expect from all Android phones. Despite its slim profile, Samsung has done a fine job of housing a 1650 mAh battery in its body. Like most smart phones, it will last you a day — or a day and a bit — with regular usage. I’ve used my Samsung Galaxy S II regularly over this past week and it’s only fought the Energizer bunny twice (if you couldn’t grasp my labored metaphor, I’ve only charged it twice this week). It often bothers me that people expect an 8.5 mm-thick phone that can do it all while lasting several days on a single charge. Because it uses a removable battery, one always has the option to carry two batteries so the phone never has to be sidelined on the charger.
If you are considering an Android (and they definitely go under the radar most of the time), or any smart phone for that matter, don’t hesitate to give the Samsung Galaxy S II a fair shake. I have tried a few smart phones over the past few months, but none have been able to grasp my geeky heart and caress it with a full gigabyte of RAM the way the Samsung Galaxy S II has. What makes it unique is its exceptional speed and functionality coupled with its solid build. And yes, folks, its solid price, too.